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Environmental Sterility-control Practices in Selected Retail Pharmacies in Sri Lanka: A Study in Kandy District

Int J Pharm Compd. 2023 Nov-Dec;27(6):503-511.


Maintaining the microbial quality of the environment is crucial in pharmaceutical institutions, especially community pharmacies, since they have a direct relationship with patients. The sterility of the environmental surfaces of pharmacies can be maintained by proper cleaning and disinfecting. Microbial contamination is the primary reason for product spoilage or deterioration. The present study was carried out to assess the sanitation practices of pharmacies on the maintenance of cleanliness followed by isolation and identification of microorganisms from surface and air samples of selected pharmacies. All the pharmacies followed daily sanitization practices in the pharmacy premises and surrounding environment. However, only 20% of the pharmacies cleaned their equipment daily. In total, 33 bacterial species were identified from the pharmacies. Of these, 31 were Gram-positive (29 coagulase-negative staphylococci) and 2 Streptococcus spp., while 2 were Gram-negative (Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Proteus vulgaris). The colony-forming unit count of air samples after one-hour exposure under uni-directional air flow was less than 20 except from one pharmacy which was 59. Significant statistical associations were not observed between the presence of separate extemporaneous preparation rooms, separate counseling places, type of disinfectant, spillage management, and the growth of organisms in the pharmaceutical products and complaints received for spoiled products. However, some pharmacies under investigation were confirmed to have had poor sterility-control practices since they showed the growth of fastidious organisms both Gram-negative bacilli and Gram-positive cocci of which the latter was in more abundance.


By Nevin Manimala

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